Supreme Court Appeal set for June 2015 in the Sharland v Sharland divorce case

10 Sep

Back in February those divorce lawyers amongst you may recall reading the case of S v S [2014] EWCA Civ 95, which concerned an appeal to the Court of Appeal by the wife in the case, Mrs Sharland. 

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Back in February those divorce lawyers amongst you may recall reading the case of S v S [2014] EWCA Civ 95, which concerned an appeal to the Court of Appeal by the wife in the case, Mrs Sharland. 

By way of brief refresher, Mr and Mrs Sharland had a long marriage of 17 years duration.  An agreement was made between them, and approved, at final hearing dividing the assets so as to give Mrs Sharland £10.355m and Mr Sharland £5.64m, both made up of properties and money.  Furthermore, the agreement saw that when Mr Sharland’s company shares were sold, having been valued at £31.5m-£47.25m, he would receive a significantly larger proportion of the profit.  It became clear very soon thereafter that the company may have been significantly undervalued and an initial public offering was in process of preparation.  Although Mrs Sharland sought to set aside the agreement, and Sir Hugh Bennett found Mr Sharland to have both lied to the Court and knowingly concealed information, Sir Hugh Bennett would not set aside the agreement on the basis that a substantially different order would not have been made.

On appeal to the Court of Appeal, Mrs Sharland argued that she had been tricked into an agreement she would not otherwise have made and without a full trial, at which Mr Sharland could have been cross-examined, Sir Hugh Bennett was not in possession of information sufficient to reach any reliable decision as to what order he would have made.  Mr Sharland argued that the law had been properly applied and Sir Hugh Bennett was entitled to reach the conclusion he did.  The Court of Appeal ultimately refused to set aside the agreement with two of the three Judges upholding Sir Hugh Bennett’s Judgment. 

There is now news that Mrs Sharland has been granted permission to take her divorce case to the Supreme Court, the case having raised a point of law of general public importance.  The case is set to be heard in June 2015 and it will be an interesting one.  Keep your eyes peeled!

For those interested in reading further about this case, an article on the Court of Appeal Judgment, with links to a copy of the same, can be found at http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed127465 and a further article as to the recent news can be found here at http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed132150.


Leanne Buckley-Thomson

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